After the Dust Settles

As many of you know, I was fortunate enough to marry the man of my dreams back in September. I wanted to take some time and offer tips and tricks to pass onto other newly engaged gals–as well as review some of our awesome vendors!

THE VENUE

I was recommended to check out the Platte River Fort in Greeley as a wedding venue from a coworker who had been there for another event. As soon as I took the tour of the expanse, I knew it was where I wanted to get married.

Not only was it the ultimate western, rustic setting I had dreamed of, but it was accommodating for all guests. The bridal party spent the day getting ready inside the Fort and its beautiful suites. There were fire pits, an outdoor bar,and a roomy and cozy living room-type indoor space for guests who needed a break from the outdoors.

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My bridesmaids getting ready inside the bridal suite
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Poppy and Uncle Mark relaxing inside before the festivities began

The reception barn was large and beautiful and a great space to dance. Not to mention the pretty string lights that hung over the tables. It made for an absolutely gorgeous reception!

The before picture of the reception barn

The Platte River Fort also has its own herd of longhorn cattle that accompany the landscape. The staff at the Fort shuttled us down to the pasture and we were able to capture some amazing shots with them.

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Tips for picking a venue? Make sure it’s something you are completely in love with, especially if you are devoting a lot of your budget to it.

THE PHOTOGRAPHER

I cannot express how much I loved our photographer. It was important to us to have these memories forever captured. If you are looking for an absolutely amazing photographer, check out AMA Divine Photography. Ali is a doll to work with, and as you can tell from the photos I’ve already posted (all credited to AMA Divine Photography) her talent and quality of work is very evident.

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If you didn’t know, my husband broke his neck three months before we got married. The doctors cleared him to take off his neck brace for the ceremony and photos, which was awesome! Even when he put it back on for the reception, Ali’s quality of photography makes the neck brace hardly noticeable πŸ™‚ She was even able to roll with the punches, like when everyone forgot to tell my husband to come out of his suite and walk down the isle πŸ˜‰

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Thanks Dani, for saving the day!

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When looking for a photographer, I was looking for someone who was reasonably priced, talented and flexible, and Ali was all three. I received a flash drive with ALL of my photos edited (over 600!). Throughout my searches, I found that barely anyone would edit ALL of your photos without charging you an arm and a leg. Many photographers would make you choose a certain amount of photos, and you had to order prints through them. I definitely did not want to do that–and in this digital age, people want their photos on their computer. If that’s what you are looking for too….look no further πŸ˜‰

THE CAKE AND DESSERTS

I absolutely loved our dessert table! We chose our vendor based on a LOT of recommendations around town–Batter Up Cakes in Greeley. Jeri, the owner, is a pleasure to be around and went out of her way to make sure we had everything we needed.

We chose a simple cake design with a cake topper I had made from little shop on Etsy. Side note–I ordered a lot of decorations through Etsy and highly recommend checking it out.

I wanted a little variety for guests to choose from, so I chose mini cupcakes, chocolate eclairs and lemon bars. The finger food desserts were a big hit, and easy for people to grab throughout the night. My husband custom made the cake stand too!

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Jeri came to the venue and set everything up for us. She even made beautiful meat, cheese and cracker trays to set out by the bar during the cocktail hour which allowed everyone a chance to get a little something to hold them over until dinner. Overall, I will be using Batter Up Cakes for all of my dessert needs going forward.

THE DJ

Do not let anyone try to tell you that you don’t need a DJ for your wedding! I remember when we first started looking, many people said “just use your Ipod” and I could not even imagine doing that. Why?

Because your DJ is the thread of your party. They direct traffic, maintain the mood and find ways to engage all guests–even the shy ones!

Our DJs, Neil and Beth Carlberg of Too Much Fun DJs were so amazing, and our guests can confirm that! We had so many people come up to us at the end of the night and told us that our wedding was the most fun wedding they had ever attended–and it was because the DJs were an absolute blast.

Not only did they set up for ceremony music, but they also turned the reception barn into a beautiful dance floor with their uplighting. Throughout the night they would introduce new “props”, which were a huge hit with guests!

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The DJ’s coordinated our entrance into the reception

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The night was unforgettable, and even the “shy” ones came out to the dance floor.

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When it came to the bouquet and garter toss, they sure did not disappoint!

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I would recommend Neil and Beth Carlberg to anyone looking to have an unforgettable wedding.

THE FLOWERS

I chose to go through The Lil Flower Shop of Windsor for my flower needs, based on reviews through friends…and Peggy did a wonderful job.

I walked into the little shop in downtown Windsor and they were extremely friendly and somehow knew exactly what I wanted. I showed Peggy, the owner, a few photos I had in mind, along with the bridesmaid dresses and my wedding dress. Since we had 7 bridesmaids, 7 groomsman, 4 ushers and parents and grandparents on both sides, Peggy showed me some budget friendly boutonnieres, bouquets and corsages. I was able to save money and also have a top notch looking bridal party!

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Using berries and twine helped cut down costs and fit our theme perfectly
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We placed out bouquets in water at the front table to add to the decor

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HAIR & MAKEUP

Two things that I love getting done, especially on my wedding day!

My go-to salon is Studio Be Salon in Fort Collins, so of course I needed them to be a part in my big day beauty! The girls at Studio Be Old Town devoted two hours to my bridal party, and allowed us to bring mimosas and breakfast into the salon, which was so fun! My grandmother was so blown away by her experience at the salon that she still talks about it to this day. That’s because you are treated to a spa-like experience every time you walk into the salon!

If you are looking for an awesome hair stylist in northern Colorado, I would recommend Laurie Weeks of Studio Be, who has been my girl for going on four years. Honestly, you cannot go wrong with any of the girls at Studio Be, as they are extremely well trained and on top of trends.

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My makeup was professionally done by Rebecca Kindvall of Greeley, Colorado. She can be reached at rebecca.kindvall@gmail.com if you are looking for a makeup guru!

I was going for a specific look that Rebecca re-created just as I’d imagined it. We did a practice run a few weeks before to go over the specifics–so you get to look gorgeous twice! πŸ™‚ She also did a few of my bridesmaid’s makeup too, and they looked amazing.

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Our day was truly spectacular, and it took a village to make it all happen. We cannot thank everyone enough!

After the dust settles, the memories are what keeps you going!

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XOXO

 

Chelsea

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